Moving this decade substantially from gasoline to natural gas, electricity and biodiesel to power vehicles should be the top national and state priority. The national security, economic, environmental, and health benefits of doing so are enormous.
So where does America begin with natural gas vehicles?
There are 110,000 natural gas vehicles in the US and 12 million in the world. One billion vehicles approximately operate world-wide.
So about 1% of the vechicles in the world run on natural gas, an obviously low number. But natural gas vehicles in the USA have a even much lower market share, well below 0.1% of all vehicles.
In the USA, there are about 1,000 natural gas fueling stations, with just 500 open to the public.
In the USA, just one passenger car can be bought ready to run on natural gas: the Honda Civic. Outside the USA Fiat and other car makers offer natural gas passenger vehicles.
In the USA, nearly all the natural gas vehicles on the road are buses, trash trucks, medium duty vehicles like airport shuttles. 11,000 transit buses, 4,000 trash trucks, 3,000 school buses are running on natural gas. Another 30,000 light duty vehicles in federal and state government and private fleets use natural gas.
In the transit bus market, natural gas has made major gains. Twenty-six per cent of all new transit buses in 2009 were natural gas and 18% of the total use natural gas to operate.
In the USA the use of natural gas for vehicles doubled from 2003 to 2009. But it remains at just 44 billion cubic feet of gas powering vehicles in 2010. Less than 0.2% of all natural gas is used for transportation.